25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

WHAT IS IT ABOUT CHILDREN?

By Leanna Cappiello

I want to focus on one very simple yet profound statement that Jesus makes in the Gospel today, “Whoever wants to be the first must be the last of all and servant of all.” What can we cultivate from this statement?

Shortly after the apostles are busy arguing about who among them was the greatest, Jesus brings up a different kind of conversation about what “greatness” is. And then He brings in a child. How often is the very presence of a child is enough to disarm even the toughest environments?

Once reflected upon, we begin to realize that we try and achieve a lot of things out of power. Climbing the cooperate ladder, winning an argument, being “right”, having more money… And a child, who typically knows nothing about power, stands before us, just being. Then we are reminded of everything that a child is… soft, sensitive, eager, curious, gentle, and often helpless.

At the heart of this message lies in the notion that the most vulnerable among us, (the lonely, the oppressed, the child, the elder, the unemployed, the single parent, the refugee, the sick, the dying), are the ones that actually serve us. For in our service to the “poor” of all kinds, we get a glimpse of our own brokenness and vulnerability. Here we begin to recognize Christ in everyone we serve, including ourselves. This helps us to act out of compassion and tenderness, even humour at times.

Our powerlessness is where we find the best kinds of environments, the best kind of service, and the best kind of relationships. This is where true greatness lies – the kind of greatness found best in our children.